Religious attendance and mortality: an 8-year follow-up of older Mexican Americans.

Terrence D. Hill, Jacqueline L. Angel, Christopher G. Ellison, Ronald J. Angel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Studies in the area of religion and mortality are based primarily on data derived from samples of predominantly non-Hispanic Whites. Given the importance of religion in the lives of Hispanics living in the United States, particularly older Hispanics, we examine the effects of religious attendance on mortality risk among Mexican Americans aged 65 and older. METHODS: We employ data from the Hispanic Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly to predict the risk of all-cause mortality over an 8-year follow-up period. RESULT: Overall, the results show that those who attend church once per week exhibit a 32% reduction in the risk of mortality as compared with those who never attend religious services. Moreover, the benefits of weekly attendance persist with controls for sociodemographic characteristics, cardiovascular health, activities of daily living, cognitive functioning, physical mobility and functioning, social support, health behaviors, mental health, and subjective health. DISCUSSION: Our findings suggest that weekly church attendance may reduce the risk of mortality among older Mexican Americans. Future research should focus on identifying other potential mediators of the relationship between religious involvement and mortality risk in the Mexican-origin population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S102-109
JournalThe journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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